Nazi Ad Brouhaha Makes JoongAng Ilbo

The Coreana “Nazi” ad has finally made it into a mainstream Korean newspaper.

I found the conclusion a tad bewildering, though:

Meanwhile, concerning the protest, Vice President Juliana Yun, the head of sales for Coreana LA, said, “Because of reasons such as image rights, you can’t use advertisements produced in Korea in the United States.”

OK. So?

(HT to reader)

UPDATE: It appears Youtube has taken down the ads. This was following two messages left to Brian in Jeolla-do from the ad company asking that he take down the ads. If you read Korean, give the first message a read for textbook cluelessness.

Interestingly, the ads are still on Daum, where — one might imagine — ad company Korad could believe they are safe from meddling roundeyes and hooknoses. Anyway, watch them here and here.

PS: Park Jin-hee is still hot.

  • Brendon Carr (Korea Law Blog)

    It’s a dismissive pat on the head to all the people worried about the Nazi theme: Anyway, this ad isn’t for you, because of the image-clearance process.

  • MrMao

    Ah, yes. As long as it’s over here it’s allright. You know, they just don’t get it.

  • Benicio74

    Same excuse they used 9 years ago for the Everland world parade- African characters with huge lips, Tarzan loin cloths, and big bones through their noses.

    And same excuse for the “Bubble Sisters” wearing blackface and the Hitler bars and it keeps going.
    They alternate between claiming innocent ignorance and the “it’s not for you, it’s for Koreans” argument.
    When, oh for the love of christ, are they gonna stop making the same lame tired excuses and realize they just need to stop doing stupid sh*t.

    PS- I know some of the Asians like to bring up the Abercrombie & Fitch Chinese dry cleaner shirts as whiteys doing something in poor taste. Well, it was in porr taste and pretty damned stupid. Guess what, they owned up to their mistake and stopped doing it. Here, they keep doing the same ridiculous offensive things and then use the same lame excuses. Don’t see it stopping any time soon.

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  • pawikirogi

    korea isn’t the us. korea doesn’t have a minority population in the 30% range, it’s in a 1% range. i wonder if these kinds of things happened when america’s non white population was in 1% range.

    hmm, i wonder what was going on back then. don’t you, massa?

    as for abercrobie, they fessed up only after asians comlained. white folk like the expat did not complain. the koreans have pulled the ad, what else do you want?
    revenge, perhaps?

    ‘the f**king nasty, ill tempered koreans MUST treat me and every other expat as an individual!’ roared every single expat
    as they revealed themselves to the world

  • Brian

    Go over and read the article on Gusts of Popular Feeling that compares this series of non-apologies and dismissive gestures to the flare-up a few years ago when a Korean company produced an ad campaign with images of comfort women. The difference is staggering, and yet I’m sure a fair many if not most Koreans would say they fail to see the connection. Idiocy.

    I know a lot of you are fluent in Korean, so why not write up a letter to the editor for one of the papers around here, or do something for ohmynews? There’s no shortage of anti-Semitic or generally insensitive ads around here.

  • aaronm

    Ahh, yeah. That good ole Korean style act of contrition. The wailing, shaving of heads and the gnashing of teeth whilst on bended knee. Just so long as it’s done by Koreans for Koreans.

  • roboseyo

    Brian, you’re my K-blogger of the month.

    Well done.

    Populargusts, too, kudos. Both now and with the Sungnyemun thingy, you’ve brought a dose of perspective that’s been refreshing.

    Consciousness is growing. I think: lather rinse, repeat, and each time, it gets a little better, hopefully.

    Or, as my old co-teacher used to say, “Throw enough shit at a wall and some of it’s bound to stick.”

  • pawikirogi

    i do hope you sing ‘kumbaya’! , and won’t you please wear those red bandanas to show your interest in korean culture? lol. oh, how i’d love to see it.

  • MrMao

    “the koreans have pulled the ad, what else do you want?”

    No, they haven’t. The ad with the new slogan is still on OnStyle. I just saw it.

  • MrMao

    “korea doesn’t have a minority population in the 30% range, it’s in a 1% range.”

    Actually, it’s in the 2% range and growing very quickly. Korean farmers can’t import Vietnamese and Filipinas fast enough. Get ready for the drops of ink in the Han River. That’s not the point, though. The point is that Nazi symbols are in poor taste in all countries at all times. This story has been picked up by media ALL over the world. It’s no longer just about Korea.

  • gbnhj

    Is this the same Juliana Yun who’s with Coreana?

  • gaekujangi

    #11 re: link: holy shit! her coworker is Gandalf!

  • SomeguyinKorea


    Don’t bother. He’s a troll.

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  • WangKon936

    I don’t see Gandalf… I see Magneto without a helmet… 😉

  • NewYorkTom

    People have to calm the fuck down when it comes to Hitler/Nazis. Dont get me wrong. I despise the Nazis and what they stood for. However, I am so sick of not being able to even mention the word Nazi without being called an anti-semite.

    I once said that their uniforms looked pretty cool and that the autobahn was a great idea. Guess what? I got so much shit from my Jewish friends bc they said I was supporting the Nazis by that comment. Give me a FUCKING BREAK. So Nazis can do no right? That is just ridiculous.

    If you take my autobahn example…Of course I am sure that a lot of slave labor was used and many people died. But why dont we apply the same logic to the Great Pyramids, Suez Canal, Great Wall of China, etc. etc? By using the same logic, the very fact that people visit these tourist attractions make them pro-slavery, right?

    You cant possible make a connection between this “incident” and the Everland blackface or A&F T-shirts without being a fucking retard. All Park Jin Hee (or whatever the girl’s name is) was wear a black uniform. Did she say she supported killing people? No. Did Hitler not conquer East and West? It’s a fact he didnt. SO what the fuck is wrong with it? If you’re gonna be a baby about it and say shit like “oh, people need to know about the genocide.” Puh-leez.

  • NewYorkTom

    Let me just add another comment…

    I am a staunch believer in free speech. If some morons wanna believe that the Holocaust didnt happen, I dont lose sleep over it. I lose sleep when even more moronic buttheads tell others what to do and what to believe in.

    By telling cosmetics company to take down an ad because of your sensitivity, it makes you look even more ridiculous. If people truly believe that the ads are offensive and sales go down, the company who used the offensive ads will realize on its own through good old capitalism: supply and demand.

    I was in Berkely, CA about a couple of months ago. Yes, the same time the stupid aholeswere protesting the opening of a military recruit center there. If the protest itself is not hypocritical, I dont know what is. I think the same logic applies here. Anti-Nazi folks all scream that the Nazis took away basic human rights. Yet, they do the exact same thing (of course not to the same extent) by not allowing people–even morons–to express their views.

  • Robert Koehler

    NewYorkTom, nobody is saying Coreana should be forced to end its ad campaign on pain of imprisonment. Nor, as far as I know, has the president of the ad company in question been placed under police protection due to death threats from Jewish militants, and last time I checked, the Korean diplomatic compounds in New York and Tel Aviv have yet to be burned. This is NOT a free speech issue. Coreana is free to run its campaign, while others are free to tell Coreana that the ad is in poor taste and is offensive. I’m sure if Estee Lauder ran an ad campaign using images of imperial Japan or the comfort women, the protests would be much more, ahem, enthusiastic.

    Give me a FUCKING BREAK. So Nazis can do no right? That is just ridiculous.

    Actually, I believe there’s almost universal acknowledgment that the Nazis did make the trains run on time.

  • Sonagi

    I’m sure if Estee Lauder ran an ad campaign using images of imperial Japan or the comfort women, the protests would be much more, ahem, enthusiastic.

    A number of commenters have made hypothetical comparisons with comfort women. I don’t recall seeing anyone mention yet Lee Seung-yeon’s tasteless comfort women soft-porn pictorial, which drew so much public outrage that she knelt bare-faced and delivered a sobbing apology to group of angry comfort women at the House of Sharing.

  • Obamafan

    #$ Pawi Nulji’s logic seems to be that since Asians complaining about A&F’s racist shirts is what got them top apologize, “expats” [ooh, shudder] are actually quite right to complain about this ad. Or is he saying that we have to wait until non-Koreans amount to 30% of the population before they can say anything?

    Once again I find the best approach is to convince Coreana (and Koreans) that the ad hurts Korea’s image overseas, rather than to try to make them feel sympathy. One thing that I have not seen taught in the Korean education system a lot is putting yourself in another’s position, and imagining things from their perspective.

    Since the Holocaust didn’t happen here, and Nazis did jack to Korea (except infect it with racial and blood type myths – via Japan – that still hold sway [see Brian Myers or Vladimir Tikhonov’s work]) I think it is unrealistic to expect that to resonate with Korean audiences with the horror it does in the West. But if companies that aspire to sell internationally can be convinced that this is not a commercially good idea, they would soon stop the ads. The power of self-interest is quite something.

  • vp1

    When I first saw the ads I didn’t think of Nazis. After reading about the ads, I looked again and still don’t see anything overtly Nazi. Perhaps I need new glasses.

    However, has anyone seen the KT ad (I think it’s KT but not sure)? The scene is an office and there is Middle Eastern music in the background. A time bomb parachutes down onto the boss’s desk. Just after it explodes, two men in suits walk away chuckling.

    That ad bothers me a lot more than these.

  • jtb-in-texas

    “Give me a FUCKING BREAK. So Nazis can do no right? That is just ridiculous.”

    “Actually, I believe there’s almost universal acknowledgment that the Nazis did make the trains run on time.”

    The _only_ trains they got running on time were those full of “Untermenschen” headed to the death camps… Even as their armies were being beaten back on both fronts the ovens were full… Not just the 6,000,000 Joos… There were also more than 4,000,000,000 Christians, Slavs, physically-deformed, mentally-retarded, and various political dissidents… All who were ratted out, didn’t conform to someone’s idea of perfection, or were thought to be detrimental to society…

    Anyone who defends this ad campaign is as detestable as those who produced it. But it’s not surprising. The Joos have always been a convenient target. Heck, I’ve even made bad jokes about them. It doesn’t change the fact that the Nazis were the poster children for why we don’t want efficient governments. And that means Republican or Democrat…

    May the Lord rebuke Coreana, their ad agency, and their defenders.

  • jtb-in-texas

    Ooops… 4 Million, not 4 Billion… having a Carl Sagan moment here… :-(

  • jtb-in-texas

    And I left out the approximately 100 Million others killed as a direct result of the war (bombs, bullets, starvation, disease, etc.).

    If the Koreans think Berlin is the new Paris, perhaps they’ll like what the German allies were doing to their “comfort women”–as long as they wear the right makeup?

  • Netizen Kim

    Well, all I gotta say is that Park Jin Hee’s Coreana ad give whole new meaning to the term Femin-Nazi.

    Femin-Nazi says “no pussy for you!”

  • NewYorkTom


    I dont need a lecture on how many and who died.

    GERMAN PEOPLE WERE NOT ALL NAZIS DURING THE 30’S AND 40’S. Just because some progress was made under the Nazi government does not make the progress susceptible to groundless attacks by people like you who distort history even further by ignoring/criticizing because of your emotions. I am certain many in Germany made progress without being part of the Nazi government. Even if progress was made by Nazi party members, acknowledgment is due when they are due.

  • MrMao

    “progress was made under the Nazi government”

    Like having all of the major cities in Germany reduced to rubble?

  • LiveWithPassion

    I am a Korean female, currently running export/import business in Australia. I visit this site from time to time as I find some of the posts most interesting. This is the first time I’ve been sufficiently motivated to post something myself.

    I feel really ashamed, as a Korean, and angry as a member of the human race, whenever I encounter individuals or businesses who are as insensitive as the Coreana Cosmetics people have been in using an advertisement featuring Nazis. I believe that at the very least, it demonstrates a lack of imagination, that they have to resort to such appalling advertising strategies in order to gain the attention of the public. I that in many Korean people’s minds, such a strategy would have the reverse effect to the one the advertisers desire. I hope that the company’s image would be tarnished immeasurably, and that many responsible individuals would boycott their products.

    As a Korean, I am angry that the creators of such advertisements provide the perfect opportunity for expatriates to widely express and reinforce negative opinions they may hold of our countrymen. Such opinions are expressed by some of the English teachers who seem to make it their life’s work to criticize Korea.

  • LiveWithPassion

    When I read Scott Burgeson’s (King Baeksu’s) 대한민국 사용후기” the other day, my first thought was ‘I’d better book a flight, catch this guy, put him in a Kim Chi refrigerator and put him on a ship that’s bound for Russia’. I’m joking, guys! I’ve heard that that’s what some Koreans do to people they have grudge against. How ridiculous is THAT!!! But sadly, people believe it, and with the help of advertisers like Coreana, Koreans gain a reputation for being the most horrible and barbaric nation on this earth.

    We Koreans DO see our own faults. We criticize our own faults and problems. We Koreans are WELL aware that there are problems with our educational system, that some Koreans spit on the street, that SOME Koreans are thoughtless and close the door without thinking of the people behind them. Can you think of a country where SOME people aren’t exactly the same as this? Without wishing to hit out at people from other countries, thus making myself just as guilty of bias and unkindness, is it not the truth that many Americans, for example, are almost completely unaware of what is going on in the rest of the world? Is this their own fault? A little, yes. Is it the fault of the American education system? A lot, in my opinion, due to its bias towards everything American, and disregard of things and people that are not American. And America would not be the only country to focus their education on themselves.

    Oh yes, we criticize unscrupulous Hagwon owners. Not surprisingly, many teachers then have bad experiences with these Hagwon owners, and in retaliation, feel it appropriate to label every Korean as unscrupulous. When these same English teachers jump on the “let’s criticize Korea” bandwagon, show no respect for Korea or Koreans, and make no effort to understand their host country, it appalls me.

  • LiveWithPassion

    Koreans don’t pretend that we’re without fault. We know we have just as many faults as people in other countries. No more, no less. We don’t hide our faults; they’re all over newspapers and the internet. We comment on Korea because it’s our country. We share its history. It’s our family – our flesh and blood. We criticize because we care.

    And just like citizens of any other country in the world, we are hurt when people who do not take the trouble to learn about us or understand us, express blatantly biased or uninformed opinions about us.

    When a person like Scott Burgeson belittles Korea the way he did in his publication ‘대한민국 사용후기’ something boils inside me. I can see, Sadly, that Burgeson’s 대한민국 사용후기 is a summary of most of the comments on Dave’s . I feel so deeply angry and disappointed to read such negativity, with no attempt being made at ALL to understand other humans or cultures, or present a balanced viewpoint.

    We do learn World History at school. Yes, I agree that some Koreans are ignorant. I agree that some are thoughtless. I agree that some are insensitive. Are there not ignorant/thoughtless/insensitive people in every country? Many Koreans are educated, wise, sensitive, loyal, kind, dependable and able to put themselves in other people’s shoes. Some are not. Is this not typical of every country? How do you know what most of Koreas think about an advertisement like Coreana’s?

    By the way, I couldn’t find the newspaper article in Joonang Il Bo – the link didn’t work. You only had comments from 4 -5 gyopos; I agree with some of the gyopos’ comments, and some I find childish. Wouldn’t that be typical of the opinions of any group, young or old? Some make sense; others don’t.

    I am just so appalled the way some of you try to belittle these gyopos at every opportunities and denigrate Korea and Koreans in general..

    Prejudices that result from religion, race or culture seem to get more and more controversial the more we talk. The argument never ends. We don’t seem to learn.

    ****Brian, I will write to Korean newspapers and let you know how they respond.*****

  • MrMao

    Well, weeks later the damn things are still no TV. I guess Nazis are AOK in Kimchiland. Like talking to a wall.

  • WangKon936

    # 29,

    Good points. A lot of non-Koreans belittle Koreans in these forums because, uh… hummm… ah… they have nothing else better to do. Not much more going on in their lives.

    Anyways, regarding said ad, here is an update.

  • MrMao

    “Is this not typical of every country?”

    No, using Nazi imagery to sell cosmetics is not typical of every country of the world.

    Anyway, thanks for the update.

  • King Baeksu

    #29: “When a person like Scott Burgeson belittles Korea the way he did in his publication ‘대한민국 사용후기’ something boils inside me. I can see, Sadly, that Burgeson’s 대한민국 사용후기 is a summary of most of the comments on Dave’s.”

    LiveWithPassion, thank you for reading my book, but I have a question for you. These essays were in that book:

    Do you consider such essays “belittling Korea”? Actually, when I talk about the problems of urban development on this blog, I get ridiculed as a “sentimental Orientalist” for the most part. And actually, on Dave’s I have rarely seen people concerned about the redevelopment of Seoul.

    And is this essay “belittling” Korea:

    Again, whenever I take a mildly pro-North engagement stance on this blog, I get ridiculed by all the hard-liners here. And I certainly don’t see much informed commentary on the North on Dave’s either. Yes, I criticized South Korean nationalism in my book, but that’s because I consider it hypocritical in the way it looks down on and often ignores Choson-jok and the people up North. Do _you_ care about the Choson-jok and the Northerners, and if so what have you done to help them?

    My book was social critique, the intention was not to belittle Korea and I’m sorry if you feel that way about it. Some of it was sarcastic at times but my message was very sincere.

    Thanks again for reading and sorry I didn’t answer your comment sooner, but I only just noticed it now.

  • LiveWithPassion

    King Baeksu, I have now read your three essays properly, and I must tell you that I am impressed. The Korean version I read was this . I am sorry that I relied on someone else’s summary, when it is pretty apparent that this person extracted only the negatives (just like some expats who only talk about bad side of Korea). I am ashamed I misjudged your intentions and I apologise. I was wondering, while I was surfing the internet, about comments I was reading there from Koreans who had read your essays, and why there are a lot of comments that support you.

    It’s impressive that you, a non-Korean, mention:

    [Quote] – from your essay ….
    “…any case, while the meaning of the word arirang is uncertain, the emotive and thematic thrust of most versions of the plaintive, passionate song is clear: It expresses the han(한) or bitter sorrow and longing of two lovers forced tragically by the invisible hand of fate to part – a particularly resonant theme among the long-divided Korean people”. [Quote]

    I thought HAN was something non- Koreans could never understand. It’s an emotion only Koreans possess (so I think).

    [Quote] – comment from your essay …
    Koreans love to wax lyrically and emotionally about their 5,000-year-old history and proud nation, but when push really comes to shove, this is a country in which money trumps tradition almost every time that can hope to stop development’s money-mad destruction of historic neighborhoods and buildings, but more often than not they seem clueless and to hardly give a toss.[Quote]

    We chose LMB, so what can I say? Also, the problem with Korea is that they didn’t go through the process of resolving their issues with the Japanese and pro-Japanese (traitors during the Colonial period). Korea was divided into two separate states and war broke out straight after becoming liberated from Japan. Most of the Koreans who fought so hard and gave up so much for Korea’s independence from Japan, were totally ignored and silenced by their own government (the first government of Korea who hired pro Japanese as government officials).

    That the pro-Japanese people were not brought to justice, and in fact were given high government positions, was the worst thing that could have happened, in terms of its effect on the moral values of some Korean people. I believe this extremely negative impact continues to this day.

    At the end of the day, I criticize Korea for accepting Western culture without filtering. Mind you, I do believe in learning as much as possible from western cultures, but I agree that it is ludicrous for any country, let alone one with an ancient culture like Korea’s, to accept another culture without filtering, and without acknowledging, celebrating and keeping what is good about one’s own culture. I think that’s what you have said in your book as well. I criticize the inefficiencies and seeming lack of forethought of the Korean government.

    [Quote] Again, whenever I take a mildly pro-North engagement stance on this blog, I get ridiculed by all the hard-liners here. And I certainly don’t see much informed commentary on the North on Dave’s either. Yes, I criticized South Korean nationalism in my book, but that’s because I consider it hypocritical in the way it looks down on and often ignores Choson-jok and the people up North. Do _you_ care about the Choson-jok and the Northerners, and if so what have you done to help them?[Quote]

    There’s a China based organization that helps North Korean escapees. I don’t know about Koreans living in other countries, but Koreans living in Australia set up organizations which collect donations from gyopos and help China based organization. Yes, I criticize myself for only saying I want to something positive for North Koreans but not actually taking any action myself.

  • LiveWithPassion


    I think that it’s typical of human beings to think that their experiences and knowledge are the most valid and the most truthful. Every country and every person has faults, if one digs down. I believe that like attracts like (The Law of Attraction), and as day follows night, if one LOOKS for only negatives in Korea or any other country, of course negative is what they will attract.

    And, I mentioned this in another site…

    Buddhists believe in Karma (or acts of providence, fate or destiny).

    Sometimes, I think the relationship between some English teachers who constantly criticize all Koreans, and some Koreans who constantly suggest that all the English teachers are marihuana smoking, womanizing, low life bastards, must in their previous life have had awful wife/mistress relationships, or horrible mother in law/ daughter in law relationships, that are being resolved in this life through the constant bickering and criticising I read.

  • roboseyo

    Livewithpassion: I like your style, and the way you talk about things. Thanks for weighing in. I even agree with you, that people generally find what they look for in a place, a person, a culture, a book, etc..

    I heard a story. . . it might have been talmudic, it might have just been one of those old folk tales that goes around, I can’t remember for sure, about an old man sitting by his city gate. When travellers came by, they’d ask him, “What is this city like?” and he’d say, “What were people like in the last city you visited?”

    If they answered, “In the last city, people were rude, greedy, conniving and narrow-minded,” he’d answer, “Keep travelling. People here are the same.”

    And if they answered, “In the last city, people were kind, generous, helpful and honest,” he’d say, “Well you might enjoy visiting our city: people are the same way here.”